Having coffee with Miro Remo

Arsy-Versy is presented by IFF Bratislava together with the film of Zuza Piussi Hero of Our Times. This documentary film, however, would stand its ground even alone, which is also confirmed by the record number of awards for a student film granted at festivals abroad (Munich, Tallinn, Sheffield, Jihlava, Uppsala, Plock). We talked with the director about the contemporary student and professional film production in Slovakia, Miro Remo, whose protagonist looks at life from a bit different perspective from ordinary people.

How do you choose the topics for your films?

We could say that the topics come alone. I am not looking for anything, I only beat about the bush and if something is really boiling, I go for it. In other words, I live, feel as any other person and if something really catches my attention, I follow it. And then there is also the chance that something will come out o fit. It means the topic is our whole life.

In your previous film Cold Joint we see tendencies to a featured form of story telling.  Arsy-versy is a classical documentary film from the formal aspect. What direction will you take further on? 

My way is somewhere in the middle. I do not have the need to distinguish is a film is such or other, whether it is a feature or documentary film, but whether it is a good film, or worth ... The viewers will categorise it. I will be happy if I shoot a feature film and people will say: „It was a really good documentary film...“

Slovak documentary film is in a fertile period. Why, in your opinion, we cannot say that same about feature production?
Slovak documentary films are catching on because people at the documentary department did a huge amount of work. They were oriented, perceived the film world around, and did not stay in the eggshell of Slovak film. They focused their sights ahead, they let the students to see with their own eyes and maybe they were also lucky with the students. So, in my opinion such films were made as 66 Seasons, 1:35 and also Arsy-Versy. Feature production is really a big mystery. To tell you the truth, for six years at the school I have not seen a feature film that would take my breath away. Quite the opposite. Why it is so, I do not know. I can only guess. Recently at the festival in Munich, I saw a Polish short student feature film called Echo. It got me. It is only a pity that it was not Slovak. They started making films in Slovakia, but the quality has not reached yet the quality of the best student films abroad. I often do not understand the positive reaction of our critics. A game of numbers on our home sandpit is nice and may even seem useful, but such a presentation does not lead anywhere in fact. It is necessary to finally shoot a feature film, something strong, firmly current, and the same as the period is It is finally time for the young generation. I believe it breaking through it.

Currently you are still a student at VŠMU. How do you see the perspective of the graduates of this school in the following years? Can Slovak cinematography look forward to new talents?

As I said above, I still believe. Regarding the financial securing, students will not get lost. In the web of series, it is still possible to earn good money. But the school should not boast with it. Its task is to educated people, creative artists, who in an attractive form could counter with the busy modern age and not to cooperate with the often characterless television machinery. If there will be someone who will make a global break-through? I would be happy!

Your currently last film Arsy-Versy had great success not only on the European student festivals, but also in the USA. Which of the awards do you appreciate the most? 

I appreciate the most the award of Kinema, the very first award of ARSY-VERSY within the film festival Áčko 2009. In the competition of Slovak school films ARSY-VERSY was not even nominated among the four documentary films out of which then the main jury selected the best school Slovak films in individual categories. And so it happened that the film within one month gained 7 awards at European festivals, at home it remained almost unnoticed owing to the decision of the small jury. However, the main jury had a different opinion, and so the film got at least the award of the Kinema.sk portal. Film Europe finally showed that this decision was correct. I highly respect people that it is not the same for. Thank you. All it is a nice story but we will leave it for another interview.

Eva Križková

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